The Iannettilab (aka the GAMFI Centre) is a neuroscience research group led by Giandomenico Iannetti, and currently based at University College London, in the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology.


Our research field is sensory neuroscience in humans. We investigate the neural processes leading to the perception of objects and events in the world around us. We have a particular interest in studying the nociceptive system and how its activation generates painful percepts. We are also interested in understanding the defensive behaviours triggered by dangerous sensory events happening around the body.


Our approach consists in combining psychophysics and different laboratory tools (brain imaging techniques like EEG/MEG and fMRI, EMG, microneurography) to provide a readout of the function of the nervous system at different levels, in response to stimuli belonging to various sensory modalities.


To activate selectively A-delta and C nociceptive fibres we use cutaneous laser stimulation (shown in the figures below and in this video) - a technique that we have been using and developing since 1998.



                Laser stimulation of the hand       Our group at the entrance of the UCL-NPP Department 


From 2006 until 2009 the lab was based at the University of Oxford (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics).


If you would like more information about the lab, or about joining the group, please email Giandomenico Iannetti (


Selected Recent Publications

Laser-evoked vertex potentials predict defensive motor actions

Moayedi M, Liang M, Sim AL, Hu L, Haggard P, Iannetti GD
Cerebral Cortex 2015, in press


A geometric model of defensive peripersonal space

Bufacchi R, Liang M, Griffin L, Iannetti GD
Journal of Neurophysiology 2015, in press


Was it a pain or a sound? Across-species variability in sensory sensitivity

Hu L, Xia XL, Peng WW, F Luo, Yuan H, Chen AT, Liang M, Iannetti GD
PAIN 2015, in press


Intracortical modulation, and not spinal inhibition, mediates placebo analgesia

Martini M, Lee MC, Valentini E, Iannetti GD
European Journal Neuroscience 2015, Feb; 41(4):498-504.


Touch inhibits subcortical and cortical nociceptive responses

 Mancini F, Beaumont AL, Haggard P, Iannetti GD.

 PAIN (2015) [PDF - coming soon!]



How many peripersonal spaces?

de Vignemont F, Iannetti GD.

Neuropsychologia  (2015) [PDF]



Multiple linear regression to estimate time-frequency electrophysiological responses in single trials

Hu L, Zhang ZG, Mouraux A, Iannetti GD.

NeuroImage (2015) [PDF - coming soon!]



Single-trial time-frequency analysis of electrocortical signals: baseline correction and beyond.

Hu L, Xiao P, Zhang ZG, Mouraux A, Iannetti GD.

NeuroImage (2014) [PDF]


Beyond metaphor: contrasting mechanisms of social and physical pain

Iannetti GD, Salomons TV, Moayedi M, Mouraux M, Davis KD

Trends in Cognitive Sciences (2013) [PDF]


Primary Sensory Cortices Contain Distinguishable Spatial Patterns of Activity for Each Sense

Liang M, Mouraux A, Hu L and Iannetti GD

Nature Communications (2013) [PDF]

A fovea for pain at the fingertips

Mancini F, Sambo C, Ramirez JD, Bennett DLH, Haggard P and Iannetti GD

Current Biology (2013) [PDF]



To Blink or Not to Blink: Fine Cognitive Tuning of the Defensive Peripersonal Space

Sambo CF, Forster T, Williams S and Iannetti GD

The Journal of Neuroscience (2012) 2(37):12921-7 [PDF]


Gamma-Band Oscillations in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex—A Direct and Obligatory Correlate of Subjective Pain Intensity


Zhang ZG, Hu L, Hung YS, Mouraux A and Iannetti GD

The Journal of Neuroscience (2012) 32(22):7429-38. [PDF]



Defensive peripersonal space: the blink reflex evoked by hand stimulation is increased when the hand is near the face


Sambo CF, Liang M, Cruccu G and Iannetti GD
Journal of Neurophysiology (2012) 107(3):880-9  [PDF]

The primary somatosensory cortex largely contributes to the early part of the cortical response elicited by nociceptive stimuli


Valentini E, Hu L, Chakrabarti B, Hu Y, Aglioti SM and Iannetti GD
NeuroImage (2012) 59(2):1571-81 [PDF]

Seeing Touch and Pain in a Stranger Modulates the Cortical Responses Elicited by Somatosensory but not Auditory Stimulation


Valentini E, Liang M, Aglioti SM, and Iannetti GD

Human Brain Mapping (2012) 33(12):2873-84 [PDF]


Linking Pain and the Body: Neural Correlates of Visually Induced Analgesia

Longo M, Iannetti GD, Mancini F, Driver J and Haggard P 

The Journal of Neuroscience (2012) 32(8):2601-7 [PDF]

The balance of feelings: vestibular modulation of bodily sensations

Ferrè ER, Bottini G, Iannetti GD, Haggard P. 

Cortex (2012) in press [PDF]
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